A male cop, a naked teen girl, and a lack of outrage

Once again, something stinks in Montgomery County.

The deputy police chief of the Miami Twp. Police Department, Maj. John DiPietro, who is normally their PR go to guy- who obviously should know better, took it upon himself to “decontaminate” a 17 year old girl who had been pepper sprayed after shoplifting. He did this by having her strip naked and stand there while he hosed her off with water. This was captured on video, in the “Sallyport” of the police station. He didn’t have a female officer come to help.

I posted this as a trial balloon on Facebook before writing this. I watched in disbelief while some tried to defend his actions- by blaming the girl for shoplifting, for running from police, for being pepper sprayed, for the possibility that there were no female officers available to do the hosing down, to this is acceptable behavior. I also heard WTF and that this has no place in modern America (thankfully I have some smart friends).

What’s most amazing is that an investigation has been underway for a while- this happened in July. The Dayton Daily and Channel 7 have been investigating since Sept. It has appeared in several articles and yet people in the community were still unaware of this transgression of basic rights.

Excuses, once again are being made by the prosecutors office and no public official has stepped up to question why this happened. Our County Commissioners are mute. The County Administrator as well as the Miami Township trustees- nothing.

So am I the only one who thinks that besides a full investigation, Maj DiPietro should be on unpaid leave and facing dismissal?

First, let’s look at when pepper spray is supposed to be used with a suspect:

the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals set a new precedent for the use of pepper spray.

“The 9th Circuit held that the use of pepper spray must be justified in the same way that tazers are used. That standard is very high,” Deputy Ed Obayashi of the Merced County Sheriff’s Office said.

Obayashi is a subject matter expert for Peace Officers Standards and Training, better known as POST. He says the August 26th (2011) court ruling stated officers must face an immediate threat in order to use pepper spray.

That’s different than how they’ve typically been trained.

“If the deputies or officers had to go hands on with an uncooperative suspect that justified the use of a tazer or pepper spray, and that is simply no longer the case under 9th circuit law,” he said.

via Court ruling could affect pepper spray use | abc30.com.

I’ve yet to see proof in any of the articles that the use of pepper spray was warranted. This was an arrest for shoplifting, not armed robbery or assault. If a police officer is having problems with a 17 year old girl, he has the option of calling on other police officers.

Next up- where do you spray the pepper spray? I’m assuming the suspect was clothed. How do her exposed genitals get covered by pepper spray? Do we pull her pants down and spray it in her crotch?

Assuming the girl was pepper sprayed in the field- pepper spray continues to have effect for 45 minutes or so. The real question is what is the proper procedure for police after spraying a suspect with pepper spray? If there isn’t one in writing- the officers shouldn’t be using it. Considering it takes time to transport the suspect- shouldn’t the fact that she was a female been communicated to command, to prepare for decontamination?

But, here is the cincher:

Water can be used to soothe the affected area, however since pepper spray is oil based and designed to stick to the skin, water by itself will not offer much comfort unless utilized continuously for approximately 30 minutes or more.

via Pepper Spray Decontamination.

The whole reason pepper spray is considered effective is that it doesn’t just wash off with water. In fact, scrubbing does more harm and large amounts of water are totally ineffective. DiPietro’s actions weren’t what any proper guideline would call for- and if he indeed was standing there, hosing a naked teen off for 30 minutes- where and why were any other witnesses concerned with the fact that this girl wasn’t given some non-pepper sprayed clothes to wear? Or- transported to a facility that could do proper decontamination?

Nothing about this incident makes any sense to me, nor does it appear legal or justifiable.

Do we have rogue cops carrying and using pepper spray without proper training and procedures? Why wasn’t a female tasked with the ineffective decontamination? Why was pepper spray used in the first place- considering it is potentially lethal? Are a few stolen items from a second hand store really a danger to society?

Chemical weapons aren’t to be taken lightly, legal or not. International laws were put in effect soon after WW1 to ban them for good reason. Pepper spray is a chemical weapon- that often, elevates the danger in a situation rather than defusing it.

For all the reasons above, I believe we need to take a closer look at what we consider acceptable behavior and use of force by the people who are supposed to protect us- because when the law fails one of us, it will fail all of us in the long run.

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31 Responses

  1. David Lauri October 9, 2012 / 9:32 am
    Getting pepper sprayed by University of California police officers is worth $30,000 per incident. See “University of California offers $30,000 each to pepper-sprayed students“:

    The University of California is offering to pay $30,000 to each of 21 protesters who were pepper-sprayed by a campus policeman last year, according to a proposed out-of-court lawsuit settlement.

     
    Of course that doesn’t mean that UC-Davis police broke any laws when they pepper sprayed non-violent protestors.  See “Yolo DA finds no criminal conduct by UC Davis pepper spray officers“:

    The pepper-spraying of students by UC Davis police officers last November was not criminal conduct, Yolo County District Attorney’s office concluded Wednesday following an inquiry into officers’ response to protestors on the campus.

     
    I suppose the 17 year old girl should just count herself lucky that she wasn’t shot by the police for resisting arrest. At least she’s still alive, and it will be she, not her survivors, suing the Miami Twp Police Department for damages.

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  2. David Esrati October 9, 2012 / 9:36 am

    This isn’t DiPietro’s first questionable action with a female- albeit old news:

    MIAMI TWP. POLICE ADMIT TRESPASSING

    BYLINE:    Mary Sikora DAYTON DAILY NEWS 
    DATE: March 23, 1993
    PUBLICATION: Dayton Daily News (OH)  EDITION: CITY
    SECTION: METRO STATE  PAGE: 2B
     

    Miami Twp. police sergeants John Dipietro and Bruce Baisden pleaded guilty in Miamisburg Municipal Court on Monday to misdemeanor charges of criminal trespassing.

    They were accused of entering a woman’s apartment Dec. 19, using a credit card to open the lock.  Visiting Judge Joe R. Fodal of Fairborn Municipal Court fined each $100 in court costs and sentenced them to 30 days in jail. Fodal suspended the jail time on the condition that each man stay on probation with the Miamisburg court for a year and perform 80 hours of community service.The men have been demoted in rank to officer, but are expected to return to work.Patricia Taylor, a student at the Miami Twp. Police Academy, filed a report Dec. 22 saying the officers had taken her home after a party and put her to bed.At the time, she said in her complaint, she was intoxicated. Because they couldn’t find her keys, they used a credit card to get into the apartment.Later, the officers returned, using a credit card to get in again. She said she had to ask them repeatedly to leave.They were relieved of duty Dec. 29 and suspended without pay Jan. 9.Monday, Dipietro and Baisden admitted they had entered Taylor’s apartment without her permission.Taylor, in her last week in the academy, said she expects to be sworn in as a Miami Twp. reserve officer in April.

    Copyright, 1993, Cox Ohio Publishing. All rights reserved.

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  3. Greg Hunter October 9, 2012 / 10:07 am
    Weak 4th estate = Police State……

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  4. Hall October 9, 2012 / 10:56 am
    David, you ask many, many questions, but then you assume a lot of things. The two typically don’t go hand-in-hand.

    As for decontamination, everything I’ve read said “remove all clothing”. I have NOT found anything saying to shower (or be showered). Soaking in a large basin/tub is what I’ve seen as what to do. 

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  5. David Esrati October 9, 2012 / 2:30 pm

    By odd chance, I was reading an article about the design of the Minneapolis PD site- and the first thing I saw was an article about officers involved in illegal strip searches.

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  6. Some Guy October 10, 2012 / 7:43 am
    Sounds like his “criminal trespassing” would be breaking and entering for a civilian.

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  7. Hall October 10, 2012 / 8:45 am
    Don’t think so….

    Breaking and entering = with purpose to commit therein any theft offense, as defined in section 2913.01 of the Revised Code, or any felony
    (http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2911.13)

    Ooops, I originally missed the “or any felony” part. We can speculate why the two of them tried to get back into the hotel room of a young, intoxicated police cadet, of course…. ;-)

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  8. Donald Phillips October 10, 2012 / 2:26 pm
    So create a Committee of Outraged Citizens! Install Mr. Esrati, Dayton’s #1 angry man, as the chairperson. He stands behind his favorable impact on South Park–not withstanding all the empty houses, muggings,  larceny and drug dealing; but these are just details in an otherwise glorious metanarrative. Mr. Esrati is the most dynamic human since L. Ron Hubbard!

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  9. Eric Worthen October 11, 2012 / 9:31 am
    What an absolute disgusting story-  It is truly terrifying that an “officer of the law” can get away with this aggregious behavior with a minor.  Were it my child, Major DiPietro would have more to worry about than the legal consequences.  As a wounded warrior and former forward observer with the 101st Airborne Division stationed in Afghanistan- we were held to a much higher standard in dealing with females- even those suspected of insurgent activities.  What is our community coming to when our children are treated with less respect than our Nation’s enemies. 

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  10. Eric Worthen October 11, 2012 / 10:11 am
    I would like to add that my comments should not be interpreted as an indictment of all law enforcement… quite the contrary, I have great respect for those who serve the greater good.  On this line I wish to express my condolences to those who uphold the standard as the actions of this pervert denegrate the solid job that they undertake each day.

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  11. Marianne Stanley October 11, 2012 / 10:30 am
    The rampant lawlessness we are seeing today on the part of our “officers of the law” is truly alarming.  Thank you, David and (thank GOD you’re an “angry man” who, despite getting kicked in the stomach time and time again by the powers that be, still fights on the basis of principle and the ethics of how things ‘should’ be!).  That police officer should be sued, along with the department that is ultimately responsible for his behavior as his employer.   This entire incident needs more, not less, light shed upon it and the entire Dayton community should be up in arms about this egregious act. DiPietro employed much of the same tactics as Jerry Sandusky……pick on the young, the defenseless, the ones no one would believe and rely on your stature and job title to protect you from scrutiny, criticism and most importantly, consequences!

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  12. David Lauri October 19, 2012 / 2:55 pm
    From today’s Dayton Daily News is this update, “Miami Twp. Deputy Chief placed on paid administrative leave“:

    Miami Twp. Maj. John DiPietro, the deputy chief of the police department, has been placed on paid administrative leave, Chief Chris Krug said Friday.
    On Thursday, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office sent the internal affairs investigation of DiPietro to township officials, Sheriff Phil Plummer said. A hearing on the investigation is scheduled for Oct. 31, Krug said.

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  13. David Esrati October 19, 2012 / 4:39 pm

    I tried to log into the DDN site to post a link back to this post- but, as usual – their site is junk and I kept getting “500 internal server error”- so if anyone could- I’d appreciate it.

    Thanks for posting the link David Lauri.

     

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  14. Bubba Jones October 19, 2012 / 6:38 pm
    A couple of months ago there was an accident up the road from my house.  While I was out with my dog, I noticed the flashing lights from a police cruiser at the end of my driveway.  I walked up there and started talking to the Miami Twp. cop (after I declined to be interviewed by Channel 2) while DPL was fixing the light pole.  I joked to him that I turned down Channel 2’s offer to “be on the news” so DiPietro could appear in front of the cameras instead.  The officer laughed and said that they all joked that DiPietro was going to run for office at some point so that was part of the reason that he was such a camera / publicity hog.  I don’t think this incident bodes well for any political future that he might have hoped for.  Oh, well.

    I find a couple of things about this “interesting”.  First, the Sheriff’s office found no evidence that DiPietro committed a felony. I guess that’s good for him.  But it’s also interesting that apparently by capturing this incident on film, apparently a “child porn movie” was created.  From the DDN

    Last week Krug denied the joint request filed by the Dayton Daily News and News Center 7 for the security video of that decontamination. In an email, Krug forwarded the comments of assistant county prosecutor Doug Trout that “Miami Township is in possession of security videos of the decontamination incident. However, this video cannot be released as it involves a minor and contains nudity.”
    Trout also cited sections of the Ohio Revised Code and wrote that possession of the video could subject anyone to criminal liability. 

    I guess it’s not a felony if you make a kiddie porn flick by accident.

    Regardless of whether or not a felony was committed, it was bad, bad judgement on the part of someone that should have known better.
     

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  15. Joe October 24, 2012 / 3:42 pm
    I’m about to puke, your comparing John DiPietro to Jerry Sandusky ?? And private Eric, please don’t post when you have no idea what the real story is

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  16. Joe October 24, 2012 / 3:47 pm
    ..and Bubba, where in this world do you come up with Kiddie porn from a police video… So anyone under the age of 18 that is arrested and decides to strip in the police crusier before taking to a holding cell is Kiddie porn? Apparently you must be the expert on that subject, but are you forgetting this is not a video shot in the back of a van…

    My god you people are flipping sheep to the media,

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  17. Marianne October 24, 2012 / 10:35 pm
    A video of a young woman under the age of 18 who is buck naked and being hosed down could definitely qualify as “Kiddie Porn”….the kind of thing that pedophiles ‘get off on”.   The fact that no one else, not even one additional person in authority and no female was around makes this whole situation even more alarming.  Law enforcement should protect, not exploit.  We are seeing greater and greater flagrant abuses of authority on the part the police nationwide and it needs to have more light shown upon it and more media coverage to tilt law enforcement back towards restraint, respect and good judgment.  As an additional point, men may find it harder to understand the seriousness of this incident since they are not subject to sexual predators to the same degree females are.

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  18. Eric Worthen October 27, 2012 / 12:36 pm
    @ Joe-  #1  If YOU choose to back the pedophelic acts as outlined by this article that is on you-  (you should seek help)
                #2  I will exercise my freedom of speech anytime I choose- if you don’t like it, stick the DDN they censor very well
                #3  I earned my stripes in combat-  you can try to belittle my remarks but at least I have the courage to use my own
                      name rather than hiding behind a pseudonym.

    If you have additional information regarding the events- post it and defend your pathetic attempt to muddy the water-  if you don’t, suck it up-  if this hurts your pride and ego, I suggest cookies and milk… 

    SGT. Eric Worthen
    101st Airborne Division (Ret)         
      
     

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  19. Jim Oblak October 29, 2012 / 12:23 am
    I have issue with officers investigating other officers that they frequently work with… especially the inspectional services unit of the MCSO. I’ve had an intimate relationship with an archive of these investigations and I see very little responsible behavior. It is a sad tradition that the law enforcement fraternity may sweep this incident under the rug.

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  20. Eric Worthen November 16, 2012 / 10:04 am
    What a pathetic response by this scumbag-  If he is afraid that one of his female officers would be endangered by this teen it doesn’t say much for his faith in the professional training required of law enforcement.  This pervert is busted –  perhaps being sodomized in a state penetentiary will adjust his view of what sexual victimization means.

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  21. David Esrati January 26, 2013 / 9:34 am

    To add insult to injury, now DiPietro is claiming disability. The police and fire retirement funds have been decimated by these types of retirement instead of firing- or, better benefits if you take a medical retirement. The simple solution is that if they work again, anything they make over their retirement check plus their paycheck that exceeds their retirement base figure- should be funneled back into the fund at a minimum. ie: top 5 years pay is $75K, the retirement pay is $45k a year, if they make more than $30k while on retirement- every penny over- goes back to the fund.

    From the DDn:

    Suspended Miami Twp. Deputy Police Chief Maj. John DiPietro has filed for a medical disability retirement from the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System.

    A disciplinary hearing into DiPietro’s conduct is scheduled to resume on Feb. 13 after being on hold since mid-December.

    The Dayton Daily News obtained DiPietro’s OPERS disability benefit application, which was filled out in December.

    On the application, DiPietro checked “No” next to the box which asked, “Is the disabling condition the result of an on-duty illness that occurred during or resulted

    from the performance of duties under the direct supervision of the employee’s appointing authority?”

    In an extensive section which asks about physical demands, DiPietro checked “occasional” for most categories and “frequent” next to walking, sitting and standing.

    DiPietro does not have enough full-time years as an officer to be granted a full regular retirement. New OPERS disability pension rules state that the amount of money paid in a granted application is based on the employee’s five-highest salaries.

    via DiPietro files for medical disability.

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  22. Diane January 26, 2013 / 1:21 pm
    What’s his disability? Depression for having been caught and ruining his career?

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  23. David Esrati February 13, 2013 / 10:40 pm

    The saga continues:

    The job status of suspended Miami Twp. Deputy Police Chief John DiPietro may be determined when his disciplinary hearing in front of township trustees resumes Wednesday morning.

    DiPietro has been on paid administrative leave — receiving more than $24,000 in salary — since he was suspended Oct. 18 by police Chief Chris Krug. That’s when Krug received a 57-page internal affairs report citing inappropriate actions during DiPietro’s July 12 decontamination of a 17-year-old girl who had been pepper-sprayed.

    Those documents allege that DiPietro committed six acts of improper conduct including taking a photo of one of the girl’s tattoos and sending it to a friend, allowing the girl to undress during the decontamination and failing to submit proper reports until ordered to by Krug.

    DiPietro’s disciplinary hearing has taken place during parts of three days in the past three months. Perry Twp. police Chief Bob Bowman is expected to testify Wednesday on DiPietro’s behalf. After that, officials said there would be closing comments from attorneys on both sides before the matter goes to Trustees Mike Nolan, Deborah Preston and Charles Lewis. Trustees have not announced whether they will make a decision immediately after the hearing. The possibilities could include DiPietro’s suspension, reduction of rank, firing, other discipline, resignation or reinstatement.

    DiPietro has been the subject of other internal investigations and disciplinary action on his way to being named second-in-command with a salary above $84,000. He survived a misdemeanor breaking-and-entering conviction and multiple acts of “inappropriate conduct” years earlier, but also was admonished more recently for throwing his Taser at a theft suspect. DiPietro was cautioned by Krug about the dangers of giving up his weapon.

    via Deputy chief may learn job status in hearing today.

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  24. David Esrati February 13, 2013 / 10:42 pm

    And- finally- he’s outta here- at least until the appeal:

    John DiPietro was fired for cause Wednesday after township trustees found him guilty of several violations of the township’s professional code. They all relate to DiPietro hosing down a naked 17-year-old girl who had been pepper sprayed July 12.

    “After careful consideration, the Miami Township Board of Trustees voted unanimously to terminate the employment of Major John DiPietro,” the trustees said in a statement released to media. “The protracted hearing was necessary to ensure that John DiPietro had a full and fair hearing. We will be making no further comments at this time.”

    The 3-0 vote of Miami Twp. Trustees Deborah Preston, Charles Lewis and Mike Nolan was announced at 2:30 p.m. in the township meeting room as Maj. DiPietro and his attorney watched. The resolution, effective immediately, found DiPietro guilty of four of the original six charges of misconduct found in an internal affairs report done by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.

    via DiPietro fired by Miami Twp. trustees | http://www.daytondailynews.com.

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  25. gary wysong February 19, 2013 / 1:37 pm
    she did so on purpose to get revenge upon the cop so he would get fired 

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  26. David Esrati April 23, 2013 / 9:30 am

    DiPietro gets a disability:

    Former Miami Twp. Deputy Police Chief John DiPietro, fired in February for cause on several violations of the township’s professional code relating to his hosing down a naked 17-yearold girl who had been pepper-sprayed, has been approved for a disability benefit, the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System wrote in an April 18 letter to the township.

    “The Ohio PERS Board met on April 17, 2013, and voted to approve” DiPietro’s application for a disability benefit,” the retirement system said in a letter to the township.

    via Fired cop gets disabled pension.

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  27. Bubba Jones April 23, 2013 / 11:15 am
    Un-freakin’-believable! This shows the strength of the union and the spinelessness of the PERS board spending our tax dollars.
     
    He’ll probably start some sort of security firm next.  As long as he’s not “walking a beat” or something, it probably won’t conflict with his “disability.”  At least we don’t have to see him on the news 4 times a week anymore.
     
    On a related note, I remember hearing something about Miami Twp. trustees discussing disbanding the police department and just contracting with the sheriff’s department.  Does anybody know the latest on that?  I also heard (from a young kid going to Sinclair for police training) that the sheriff’s department categorically said that they would NOT hire any Miami Twp. PD personnel for the sheriff’s department.   

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  28. David Esrati July 2, 2013 / 11:11 am

    Apparently they settled for $100,000K not to sue.

    http://ireader.olivesoftware.com/Olive/iReader/DaytonDailyNews/SharedArticle.ashx?document=DDN\2013\07\02&article=Ar00900

    Miami Twp. agreed to pay $100,000 to the family of the girl who was naked when she was hosed down by former deputy police chief John DiPietro, according to records obtained by the Dayton Daily News.

    In exchange, the family agreed not to sue the township or its current or former employees. The money will come from the township’s insurance provider.

    A June 25 settlement agreement obtained Monday by the Dayton Daily News shows that the girl’s family unconditionally releases the township and all current and former employees of any “liability, claims demands, controversies, actions, causes of action, and suits at law” stemming from the July 12, 2012 arrest and pepper-spraying of a 17-year-old girl who was brought to Miami Twp. headquarters…..

    DiPietro later was fired by the township’s Board of Trustees for cause after finding him guilty of several violations of the township’s professional code. DiPietro’s appeal of his dismissal is pending in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court.

    The possible claims the agreement states the township is released from include: Negligent supervision; infringement of civil/constitutional rights; failure to train; acquiescence in unconstitutional conduct; maintenance of an unconstitutional custom, policy or practice; failure to discipline; negligent supervision; unreasonable search; arrest without probable cause; false arrest; false imprisonment or detention; unlawful arrest; malicious prosecution; use of excessive force; right to privacy; and attorney fees and costs.

    According to the document, both sides agreed not to comment on the specifics of the four-page agreement.

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  29. Joe DiPietro July 2, 2013 / 11:14 am
    Good, glad to hear this crap is finnaly behind John and Township… We should all abide by the agreement not to comment as well… maybe then important stuff can be discussed…

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